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City, Greenway agree to work together on trailhead design

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A draft mock-up of the proposed Hudson Dog Park and Hudson River Valley Greenway trailhead near Mill Street.
February 20, 2019 10:08 pm

HUDSON — The Common Council voted Tuesday to agree to a letter of understanding with the Hudson River Valley Greenway to design a trailhead at the city’s undeveloped dog park as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed 750-mile pedestrian and bicycle trail.

The Common Council passed a resolution Dec. 18 authorizing the mayor to move forward with the development of a dog park and trailhead for the proposed Empire State Trail at the former Foster’s Refrigeration Site on Mill and Second streets.

The Greenway has offered assistance with the trailhead’s design and construction for the Empire State Trial on city-owned property and drafted a letter of understanding to be signed by Mayor Rick Rector. The Greenway is a state agency created to “preserve the scenic, natural, historic, cultural and recreational resources of the Hudson Valley,” according to its website.

“This [letter of understanding] just accelerates the design process for the trail,” Rector said Wednesday. “They are under a time guideline.”

The statewide trail system — a 750-mile bike and walking path from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo is expected to be completed by 2020. The design for the city’s dog park is not finalized.

Trailheads for the proposed Empire Trail, also known as the state bike trail, are planned for near Dock Street. The state bike trail will enter Hudson at Third Street and exit the city from Harry Howard Avenue.

“The Greenway will install the trailhead amenities at the state’s expense,” according to the letter of understanding. “Once installation is completed, the municipality shall accept ownership of the improvements and is responsible for future maintenance.”

In October, Rector met with residents to talk about three possible locations for the dog park. They included the east end of Charles Williams Park, at 238 Mill St.; a grassy parcel on North Second Street, south of the former dump; or at the former Foster’s Refrigerators site on North Second Street.

The Foster’s Refrigerators site got the approval of residents at the meeting, plus several officials in attendance including 4th Ward Supervisor Linda Mussmann and 4th Ward Alderman Rich Volo.

“I think it is a great idea — thank you very much for presenting it,” Volo said in October. “It’s great to keep [dogs] here in the city of Hudson.”

Plans to build a dog park at the Charles Williams Park at the eastern end of Mill Street have been in the works for a decade and were included in the plan for the park. But backlash from several Mill Street residents impelled the city to consider other locations for the park.

The former Foster’s Refrigerator site is ideal for a dog park, Rector said in October, because it has been completely remediated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The property is about 106,400 square feet and contains a large concrete slab for parking. It can also serve as a multi-use area, a green space with picnic area and two dog parks — one for small dogs and another for larger breeds.

The actual dog park would be about 1.5 acres, Rector said.

About $14,000 was raised by residents to build a fence for the dog park.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to apurcell@thedailymail.net, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.